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The Less Obvious Challenges Of Running An eCommerce Store

  • Written By Adam
  • Posted March 24, 2016
  • 2 minutes Read Time

Every pioneer in eCommerce wants the flexibility and adventure of running their own business. The dream of managing your own Magento store is a popular one. True, it can bring very satisfying benefits if you get it right, but too many entrepreneurs overlook the potential challenges and soon find themselves sinking rather than swimming. Here are just a few of the hidden pitfalls you’ll need to avoid.

First, let’s talk about shipping. Whether you’re a manufacturer or an intermediary, if you’re offering products online you obviously need to be able to ship to your customer. But as seasoned eCommerce store owners will tell you, the shipping process isn’t always as plain sailing as it should be. Packages frequently go missing, especially in international transit. Surcharges can be added when you didn’t expect them, either by the supplier or by customs and excise. Don’t be naive about shipping. Get informed and learn as you go. And while we’re at it, make sure you pack your products safely to minimise breakages and returns. Get it right the first time.

You may already have encountered examples of consumer fraud, where shoppers give a false report to say they didn’t order a product they’ve received from you. This situation means that businesses have a choice to make between accepting the frustrating impact of a relatively small fraudulent business loss, or facing costly court fees. For eCommerce store owners, it’s just one of those things.

Order fulfilment is another area where new eCommerce sellers tend to make rookie mistakes. At any moment, a freak trend for your product could create a sudden boom in orders, with thousands that need packaging and shipping by the end of next week. Then the following month, just as you’ve invested heavily in extra stock and storage and your cupboards are filled to bursting, the fickle wind of change could mean orders are cut to 5% of the previous month and for the rest of the year you’re left shuffling boxes and trying to pay for goods you can’t shift. Order fulfilment challenges shouldn’t be underestimated.

Some of these problems are hard to guard against because we learn by experience. But take the advice of those who have been in the business for a while, and grow your Magento business steadily.